After G20 Leaders’ Summit decided to help underdeveloped countries in supplying COVID-19 vaccine, experts say that the amount of assistance in both the supply of vaccines and meeting the cost would be limited, as the developed countries are seriously affected by the global coronavirus outbreak.
During his speech at the two-day summit held last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested: “The vaccines developed should be made available to be the common property of humanity rather than deepening the existing injustices.”
Turkey, on the other hand, also started to take steps to access the vaccine.
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca announced that an agreement to purchase 50 million doses of vaccine was signed with China, and talks to purchase some 25 million doses from Germany were ongoing.
‘In fair supply, WHO may play a central role’
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Aydin Nurhan, a retired ambassador, said that the decision came out of the G20 summit does not refer to the center of the problem, and just a “principle” support for cheap and easy access to the vaccine.
He said it should not be expected from the countries to leave their own nations and prioritize other nations’ needs in such a situation that the world goes through.
Nurhan noted that the World Health Organization (WHO) may undertake a “central role” in the fair supply of the vaccine, however, for that the governments and vaccine producers must commit to honest, accurate quantity reporting and net financial support.
“The statement is a declaration of goodwill. The weak are left alone with their destiny,” he said, adding that the condition of the helpless before the crisis has worsened.
“Debt forgiveness [of underdeveloped countries] was not even mentioned. The offer of six-month postponement is like mocking,” Nurhan said, referring to another decision taken at the summit.
Turkey was more cautious than many countries on the supply of the vaccine, he said, adding that the agreed quantity will provide access to the vaccine for nearly half of the population.
“Therefore, I think the distribution will take place fairly and equitably,” he said.
‘Poor countries cannot afford such cost’
Sencer Imer, an international relations professor from Ufuk University, told Anadolu Agency that the decision to help underdeveloped countries in the COVID-19 fight was one of the most important decisions of the summit.
“The world has turned into a global village. People are always in a state of traveling and this mobilization continues despite restrictions. Therefore, it can be prevented by the implementation of the vaccine in the whole world,” Imer said, adding that the country that develops the vaccine would also revive its economy by selling it to the world.
He said Turkey is also included in the fund group that will be set up by G20 and added that contributions by the countries will be limited due to the pandemic’s adverse effects on the economy across the world.
“Unemployment increased, economies shrunk. Thus, contribution by each country will be serious self-sacrifice,” he noted.
Imer stressed that the vaccine, which is expected to cost around $30 for two doses, will create a serious burden for underdeveloped countries with an annual per capita income of $500 to 2,000.
He said poor countries cannot afford the cost, and they will be assisted by the fund that will be set up.
*Writing by Sena Guler in Ankara
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